I subbed a manuscript for the first time in a year on Monday. It’s been a long, hard year…but that’s a different story. Anyway, this made me think back on how far I have come in the five years since I started writing, and how some things never change.
For the things that hasn’t changed:
I still hate hitting the send button. It seriously is the most traumatizing part of the process for me. After I have the submission package ready to send, it’s showdown time. I stare at the button, and it stares at me. I wiggle my fingers at my sides as the theme music to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly plays in the room and a tumbleweed rolls between us—not really, lol, but that is exactly how I feel. The moment is intense. My heart is pumping, stomach churning, sweaty palms, the whole freaking nine yards. To this day, I still have to position the curser over the button, close my eyes, take a deep breath and click the mouse. When I open my eyes and see the your-message-has-been-sent notification, the oh-craps start. Oh crap, it wasn’t ready. Oh crap, I should have read through it one more time. Oh crap, the changes I made suck.
The wait never gets any easier either. The obsessive checking of my email started two minutes after I sent it. How stupid is that? Two minutes? It’s like my brain believes I can Jedi mind trick my editor into immediately believing ‘this is the story your looking for’ without even opening the dang doc. Now it’d be cool as hell if it worked that way, but it doesn’t. So what screwed up portion of my mind makes me obsessively check my email when I KNOW I’m in for a wait?
Rejections still suck, as does the anticipation of a rejection. Cause let me tell you something, just because you’ve become published, it doesn’t mean everything you write afterwards will sell. Sad truth.
Now for the things that have changed:
I much more confident in my writing. I’m not talking I am the queen of writing and everyone will love every book I put out kind of confidence—even after a contract is offered I deal with the everyone-will-hate-it blues. The confidence I’m talking about is more the writing aspect of it. There was a point, only a couple of years ago, that if I made the slightest change, I had to have my CP’s look over it. Seriously. Slightest change. Now I save my bothering of them for more meatier revisions.
You will get bad reviews. They used to bug the hell out of me, and I won’t lie, there’s still a definite ouch-factor when I get one, but I can let it go much more easily than I could in the beginning. If one is especially harsh, and I’ve had my fair share of those, I’ll go back and read reviewers who liked my story to help take out the sting.
The more you write the better writer you’ll become. I pulled out an oldie a few weeks ago. As I read the story, which was cringe-worthy, I was stunned at how much I have grown. Years later, I can look back at some of my older writing and I know why it’s still sitting on my hard drive and not on a publisher’s website. The awesome thing about now is I can fix it. I sold The Panther’s Lair that way. Man, was that story horrible when I pulled it back out three years later. Hor-ri-ble. I spent six weeks doing a total re-write of the story, and I sold it. So don’t think just because something isn’t selling in the beginning of your writing journey that years down the road, it won’t. You just need a little more know-how to help fine tune and spiff-up the submission.
In all, the writing journey is hard, even after publication. If for a minute, you think you can write something and it will sale, you’re in for a rude awakening. Now granted there have been authors that sold the first thing they ever wrote, I acknowledge that, but it’s not the norm. It’s a struggle. But let me tell you, even through all the tears and rejections, writing has been the second most satisfying things I’ve ever done—having my kids being the first. I wouldn’t change it for anything.
So good luck to all of you! I’m wishing everyone a happy and long writing career!
They have some beautiful black Highland cattle.
The original castle on this spot had been here since the 1400s. At the time, the village was a collection of cottages very close to the castle. The third duke had the old castle demolished. The current Inveraray castle dates back to 1744. This castle isn't a true castle in the traditional sense (used for defense), but a Georgian mansion house in a Gothic style. It took about 40 years to complete. After a fire in 1877, a third floor was added along with the conical roofs on the corner towers.
Dun na Cuaiche sits on a hilltop far above the castle, near the site of an Iron Age fort.
To learn more about the castle, especially the interior, click here for the ground floor. After you view that, there's a menu to the side where you can select the other floors.
Thanks for checking out my photos!
It's over 8 hours by train from Buffalo to NYC, which seems like a lot of time riding the rails. I'm travelling with some friends from the Western NY Romance Writers chapter, so I'm sure there will be lots of writing talk, both on the way to conference and coming back home. I'll also have my netbook and Kindle with me, so if we ever want to rest our vocal chords, I won't lack for things to do.
I'm looking forward to some interesting workshops in NY, inspiring discussions, and the chance to meet up with old friends and make some new ones. I don't have any agent or editor appointments, as I generally suck at them. But who knows what might happen over the next few days. I plan to take a lot of pictures and will share some of them, and possibly some interesting stories, with you next week after I get back home.
So I'm off to pack. Who else will be at National this week?
As a city reclaimed from the ocean, Amsterdam is totally flat. Therefore, bicycling is easy, and everyone does it. You will see chic ladies in high heels and skirts, businessmen in suits and ties, senior citizens, and kids of all ages, including teens in social groups.
The authorities have encouraged the practice by building bike paths everywhere there is a road. Bicyclists also have the right of way over anyone else, including pedestrians. Which means walking can be hazardous. Each road consists of the car roadway, a paved bike path, and a sidewalk. Major streets also include tram tracks. Oftentimes, all these things are on the same level, with little to mark one lane from a different one, not even a curb.
Whatever method you are using to get around, you need to be very careful as people and cars come from all directions. Not to mention the scooters, which as far as I can tell are allowed on any surface they can find. Cars often park on the sidewalks, which forces pedestrians onto the bike path, and bicyclists will not be happy to see you there.
You will see people carrying umbrellas, texting, talking on their phones.
If you are observant, you will have noticed one unusual fact about bicyclists in the Netherlands (versus the US). No one is wearing a helmet. No one. I never saw a single helmet on a bicyclist in Amsterdam. Not even toddlers in the little boxes attached to the front. (See note below.) But I did see my first bicycle garage.
Note re bicycle accidents: Amsterdam is a very safe city traffic-wise. Approximately 200 people per year die in bike accidents in The Netherlands, with an average of only 6 per year in Amsterdam. http://www.tobysterling.net/2007/12/bike-accident-deaths-in-amsterdam-and.html
Death in traffic accidents overall is the lowest in Europe at 45 deaths per million inhabitants per year vs. the comparable US rate of 147 deaths per million and the European rate of 90 deaths per million. (credit Toby Sterling). So I guess that's why they don't feel the need for helmets.
And I was excited to learn about Heart of the Highland Wolf receiving 5 hunks!!!
Author: Terry Spear
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Julia Wildthorn is a romance writer who decides to travel to Scotland under the guise of working on a movie crew who is filming at a castle that the owner keeps everyone out. Of course other than researching her next book she is on another mission to find something left behind by one of her ancestors.
Ian MacNeill is the owner of Argent Castle and head of his clan who also happen to be werewolves. Hence the reason he does not like humans on his land. But, when his brother has put the family in financial straights so what could he do when approached to allow a movie crew on his land he concedes.
When Ian sets eyes on Julia he is drawn to her like he has never felt about a woman before and of course he can sense she is also a wolf. But, he knows she is hiding something from him and how can he be sure that she is not working for his enemy.
What happens when you bring a writer, two warring clans, a film crew and lots of testosterone together? One word exciting!!
Terry Spear continues to draw us into her world of wolves and this time she takes us on a trip to Scotland where men are warriors as well as wolves. From the first book in her series I have been hooked and I continue to be totally amazed and feel as if I am inside the story myself. I look forward to her next book coming in December DREAMING OF THE WOLF.
Annette gives this book
Woohoo, thanks to Annette at RomFan Reviews! I ADORE my 5 hunks!!!
You know that the zoo was a wash yesterday, closed for some special event. Then my daughter and I went to get the marriage license for my daughter, she had to have her groom with her. Then we went to get his wedding ring, the place wasn't open, though it was supposed to be. So we went to X-Men, and enjoyed it thoroughly!
I'm off to work today--back to the zoo with the wilder than wild creatures, but I'll be having a giveaway on Monday next.
Have a great Saturday!
"Giving new meaning to the term alpha male."
What makes a book a Keeper for you?
A LADY’S CHARADE, a medieval romance, and A PIRATE’S BOUNTY, a historical pirate erotic romance. Visit Eliza at www.elizaknight.com
Yikes! Fantastic cliffhanger! I can't wait to read this!
And then there were those who wanted it all today, wanted to catch up in one sitting, who were so anxious to make headway, they too had to battle the range of emotions and frustrations that they felt held them back, due to their impatience. I often have that form of "startitis" - in fact, it used to plague me whenever I'd start a new diet. And the worrying over whether or not I would stick to it long enough to have results would overcome me and by 10 o'clock, the diet was blown. And then it makes it harder to start again.
But starting is just that, starting all over. My opinion is that it's 80% of the battle, just beginning. If I can put out of my mind all the other little self-talk that is unproductive and just plain not true in many cases, I can get that big locomotive fired up and begin my new project. By "new" it could mean writing new or editing. Whatever the project.
On the other hand, there's this little thing called Momentum that begins once we are sailing down the rails. The weight of the machine and the forward motion help propel us further, even if we should temporarily take our foot off the pedal.
And that's where people have the hardest time. After they start, they get some success, and do happy dancing all over the room, and then forget to get back to work. I'd have business leaders achieve a windfall month of profits and then take the rest of the year off, and wind up behind what they did the year before. We used to say that earning a huge commission check was the surest detriment to many people succeeding. Just ask lottery winners. They'll tell you.
The magic happens in the not stopping. Notice there is no mention of talent. We all want to be so talented someone will come along and give us millions of dollars for that screen play, that novel, but in fact, the world doesn't operate like that. Somehow, even though others have struggled, our path will be smooth and easy.
You will have a ten times better chance of dying in a commercial plane crash than winning the lottery. Chances someone will pay you $1M for your book? I'd say even less.
What about you? What do you do to get yourself started? How do you keep your momentum fired up?
Sharon Hamilton lives in Sonoma County, California, with her husband, 60 chickens, 100 koi and the 2 Dobermans who want to eat them all. An organic gardener for over 35 years, Sharon tends her vegetable and flower gardens when she is not writing or going to RWA meetings. She’s a member of 4 local chapters, as well as numerous online groups.
She writes paranormal romance, about angels, dark angels and some vamps, even some new species: Upogenie. Her stories follow the rocky road to redemption, but not exactly what you’ve been taught in Sunday School. Like, did you know angels don’t wear panties and have sex?
Sharon's first novel, Angel, is newly released. Here's the blurb:
An unconventional and fiercely independent Guardian angel, Claire, is sent to save the life of a talented but tormented Brazilian-born painter, Daniel DePalma, preyed upon by a powerful Dark angel. Although warned , this Dark angel has a special appetite for Guardians, and when Claire and Daniel become lovers, violating all of Heaven’s rules, he offers the pair a chance to stay together forever by turning to the dark side. Will their love succumb to temptation to make a deal with the devil or spend eternity forever separated?
Here's an excerpt for Angel:
Truth was, she usually liked to shower with her charges, but it was not the recommended way. She would give him a little more distance tonight; let him show her his dreams and the true source of his torment. Her instincts told her to be cautious. Something in her internal radar was bleeping off the charts.
She inched her way closer so she could smell the shower gel he used. She leaned against the wall, letting the lemony steam cover her invisible but sensitive angel flesh. She closed her eyes and listened to him reprimanding himself in Portuguese. It wasn’t important to have a word-for-word translation; she understood perfectly what he was saying. The way the sounds rolled off his tongue and the deep resonance of his voice was soothing. She knew in that instant that she could save him. He didn’t want to die. He wanted to live. He was fighting with himself, and right now that was a good thing.
She was still daydreaming when the water stopped and he reached for the towel located on the wall Claire was leaning against. His hands went through her shoulders to grip the blue terrycloth hanging there. She didn’t move as he pulled the fluffy cotton to his face, buried his face in it, and then reached behind him to towel dry his hair with one muscled arm as he arched backwards, giving her a first class view of his chiseled abs, and more.
She writes from close personal family experience with authenticity only a family member would know. It is her way of saying thank you to the men and women who put their lives on the line so we can do all the crazy things we do everyday.
Agented, Sharon is looking for the right outlet for her work.
Tiernan is one of a kind. Beyond the divine dimples, killer blue eyes, and hard muscled body, Tiernan is also the only Fairy Godfather. Most of the Fairy Godmothers have no problem with keeping Tiernan around, but Reina isn’t like most Fairy Godmothers.
Amongst Fairy Godmothers, Reina is the best. Organized, efficient, logical. So why is it when Tiernan is around, all those qualities fly out the window? Reina doesn’t like that one infuriating male makes her lose control, and just wants him gone. Circumstances arise that just might let her get her wish, though not in a way she ever wanted.
Tiernan is given an assignment and told either get a Happily Ever After or he will no longer be a Fairy Godfather. Reina is going with him to supervise, but if Tiernan gets his way, he’ll not only be supervising that luscious stubborn fairy in bed, but also get her to admit Happily Ever Afters also apply to Fairy Godmothers.
“You can just call me Tiernan,” he interrupted.
She tried again. “Godfather Tiernan—”
“”Didn’t Sara just tell you that you had to follow my directions?”
That pushed her over the edge. “Do you truly think you are going to secure a HEA when you haven’t been able to do it yet?”
He let out a derisive snort, but immediately realized that was a huge mistake. Her face lost her usual look of annoyance crossed with bemused tolerance, leaving pure ice in its place. “This is why men should not be allowed into the Godmother program. None of you have any respect for Happily Ever Afters.”
“I never said I didn’t believe in HEAs” he began, but she cut him off.
“Every case you’ve been on tells me you don’t believe, or else you would have tried once, just once, to get one!”
His hands slammed on the table as he leaned across it, his face coming inches from hers. “I’ve never tried because I believe in love! Humans need love so much, who the hell was I to screw up two people in love to get them to HEA status? I could never forgive myself if two people in love missed out on each other because of my actions!”
All anger fled her face, and a hesitant, unsure look came over features. “What do you think a HEA is?”
He drew in a deep breath, sitting down once again. “I think happily ever after is a nice way to end a story, but in the world I remember, it’s a waste.”
Her hand was halfway towards him before she seemed to remember their roles, and she pulled it back to her side. “Love is wonderful, but only love alone is incomplete. You can love someone, but they can ultimately not be right for you. Even in love, people can still be led to believe the worst of each other, still hurt each other, still decide they are better without the other,” she began, her words hesitant, as if she was trying to define to herself what it all meant as much as to him. “But the Happily Ever After is so much more. It’s finding your perfect match, love purified, refined, to such an extent that it can never be sundered. With a Happily Ever After, men can achieve greatness, as can all the generations who follow growing up in its shadow.”
“And you think jeopardizing the surety of a love match now is worth it for only the possibility of a Happily Ever After?” he asked, his voice gentle, reverent, wanting nothing to break this intimacy their words were creating.
“I do. In your view, maybe that seems cruel, but in my view, there is no greater tragedy then two people who almost make this connection but fall short in the end.”
Such a hard exterior to cover such a tender heart. “I’m not sure if I can believe as you do,” he said after considering her words. “But I never want Sara... you... to feel as if I let you down. After we get this situation behind us, I want you proud of the job I do.”
And as his breath caught at the rare smile she bestowed upon him just then, he knew all she had to do was keep smiling at him like that, and anything she wanted, whether it be his beliefs or his blood, he would give her.
Her smile faded, and the moment ended. Reina cloaked herself in her position of authority as she handed him the file that had been sitting on her desk. It was already open to show a picture of a blond girl, pretty and vibrant with a mouth full of straight white teeth, all of which was evident even underneath the dirt. “I looked over this case earlier, before I realized what was going on,” she said. “It is a good, solid HEA case. There are several challenges to overcome, but also several sources of help for the client. It is about as perfect as a case can be for this purpose, as evenly balanced as I’ve ever seen. No one can accuse the council of favoring either side. The girl’s name is Cinderella. She lives with an abusive Stepmother and two rotten spoiled stepsisters. She is a very kind, generous girl—though a little too much of a doormat, if you ask me—but outside of that, not really any other character flaws. She is much beloved in her village, children and small animals flock to her daily. In short, we exist to give HEAs to mortals like her.”
Tiernan read the file quickly, then flipped the page and took in the photo of the male who would supply the HEA. “A prince, huh? That’s pretty standard.”
“Indeed, but for the most part, we don’t mess with the classics here.” The pointed look she gave him told him he was one of the exceptions, and she wasn’t necessarily thrilled about it. Ah yes, completely back to normal.
He returned that look with a flirty smile. “I used to serve royalty, Godmother Reina. Believe me when I say, sometimes the large crown is to compensate for something.”
“Oh really? Well, I assume we can say the same thing about your sword, eh, knight?”
Maybe not completely back to normal after all. The second those words passed her lips her eyes went saucer wide, and Tiernan couldn’t say who was more shocked, him or Reina herself. There was no way he was letting this pass. His voice coming out a low growl, he replied, “Why, Reina, I never knew you were interested in the size of my sword. Anytime you want a private viewing, I will be more than happy to oblige.”
Danielle Monsch is a Romantic Geek Girl Writing in a Fantasy World. Her debut story, Loving a Fairy Godmother, is available now at Liquid Silver Books.
You can find her on the web at www.DanielleMonsch.com, www.twitter.com/DaniMonsch, www.facebook.com/DanielleMonsch
Seth Forester has wanted Lori Hollingsworth from the first moment he saw her in that hot pink bikini two years ago. And it’s no secret that Lori has a crush on Seth. The scorching kiss she gave him at a party a few months ago confirmed it. But if he gives into his urges and pursues her, he could lose his hard-won career. Lori is the boss’s daughter, and Seth has already been warned to stay away from her.
When Seth finds Lori upset after a date gone wrong, and a thunderstorm fast approaching, he has little choice but to take her to his condo. Though they’re both drenched to the skin, their attraction heats up like the lightning outside. No matter if his boss kicks him to the curb, Seth can no longer resist Lori. It’s not just her body he wants, but her heart.
Read an excerpt!
The Kindle version is available at Amazon and other formats are available at Smashwords.
Trixie, please tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
I write erotic romance with a kiss of humor and currently have books out with Amber Quill Press and Phaze. I write non-erotic romance as Karen Troxel and have five romance novels available as well.
You have so many hot, funny stories out there. Tell us about your latest release.
I have two erotic romances I’d like to talk about. One is a contemporary comedy called “The Peter Heater” about a yarn shop owner and a millionaire.
Priscilla Destiny has nearly given up on her business. Sales have been slow, making for another miserable Christmas. Then she crashes her car into the barn of a remote mountain cabin. On Christmas Eve. Things couldn't possibly get any worse. Or can they?
Losing a million dollars has shaken more than Peter Chance's confidence. He trusted someone and look where it got him—alone in the Carolina mountains with a serious problem on his hands. "Erectile dysfunction" used to be a term he occasionally heard on late-night TV. Now those two little words have become his physical reality. That is, until curvy Priscilla crashes into his barn. Just looking at her tennis shoes gets him excited, and things start looking up...and up...and up.
Priscilla's stuck with a gorgeous guy who can't seal the deal, but she's not going to let another Christmas disaster stop her from taking control of her life. After all, she's great with her hands. When it comes to knitting, that is. And she's about to prove to Peter that a well-spun yarn can heat up more than his lonely little cabin...
I also have sci-fi , romantic comedy called “The Martian Affair” about a hunky space cop, a BBW trying to find her way and a colony on Mars with a skin tone problem and a habit of kidnapping women to be their wives.
The Universe may be different in 3535, but Stella Bright is just a big, beautiful young woman trying to find her place in it. Although rogue interstellar cop Indiana Jameson didn't ask her nicely, going with him to Mars and helping him solve a case seems right up her alley. Except there's more to Indy than just business...
Indiana is working way off the ISP books because this case is personal. He's certain he can control the situation if he can just keep his mind on the job and off Stella's tempting mouth and luscious body.
It's a tough assignment, but Stella's mother always told her not to judge a planet by its privates. A man, on the other hand...
You like to write humor into your stories, but do you have any funny stories about your road to publication?
Well, there’s the story on how I chose my pen name. Natasha Moore, me, and eight of our closest friends, were riding the train from Buffalo to Manhattan for a romance writer conference just after I signed my first contract for an erotic romance short story. I said to my friends that I really couldn’t write under my name (Karen Troxel) because my mother would never forgive me. We started brainstorming possible names for me. Someone said Trixie and we took a poll of the other passengers (a large number of them men) who seemed to really like the idea of a Trixie. So, Trixie I became. Much later I learned that women like the name too. Except it seems a large number of them own toy dogs and Trixie is apparently the name of choice So, whenever I’m walking down the street now and I hear my name, I never know if it’s someone calling me or their Schnoodle to dinner.
LOL! What element of story creation is your favorite? (Character? Setting? Plot? Etc.) Why?
I like characters. They always come to me first and then I worry about setting and plot. Romance, above all else, is the story of two people meeting, falling and love and hoping for the forever after. The rest is just extra.
You write some very unique characters. What would your readers be surprised to find out about you?
That I’m a bad photographer but I love to bore people with my travel pictures.
If you could be one of your characters for a day, who would it be and why?
Right now, I think I would like to be the character in the story I just finished. Brenda Morrelli, who has found her way back from some troubles and started a new life in Montana. (It’s been a hot summer in Tennessee, so I think being in the cool mountains of Montana sounds pretty darn good about now.
You should come back to western New York LOL! Most people think a writer’s life is really glamorous. What’s the least glamorous thing you’ve done in the past week?
Other than clean up after my pets (a beagle who thinks she is a diva and a kitten who thinks he’s Spiderman)? Basically I’m boring. I run errands, cook, try to watch my weight, exercise occasionally and write stories that would probably get me put in a padded room if I lived in another era. Since I don’t, I just hunker down in my little cave and play make-believe.
I'm glad you're writing more stories. What can we look forward to from you in the future?
Well, I just finished Brenda’s story, titled “Saddling Brenda”. I’m also working on a new piece that features a klutzy photojournalist and a hunky athlete. After that, well, we’ll just have to see…
Where can our readers find out more about you?
If you dare, you can find me at http://www.trixiestilletto.com. I also hang out with a fine group of writers at http://www.servantsofthemuse.com . If you’re really brave you can visit my travel blog (http://thetravelingbabe.com) and see some of those bad photos I’m talking about.
Do you have anything you’d like to ask our readers?
How do you like your love? With laughter or without?
Urban Girl Reader is hosting a giveaway, if you have a chance to drop by!
And here are some great reviews of Heart of the Highland Wolf!
HEART OF THE HIGHLAND WOLF by Terry Spear
Heart of the Highland Wolf by Terry Spear
Werewolf, Book 7
Reviewed by Miranda
American werewolf Julia Wildthorn is a romance author; her specialty is werewolf romance novels. Her latest plot involves Argent Castle in the middle of the Scottish Highlands. Julia is hitching a ride on the coattails of a movie being filmed around the castle. She plans to learn as much as possible about Argent Castle and the werewolves that inhabit it. Unfortunately, someone else has other plans for Julia. A wreck and a rescue by a certain Laird turn her plan upside down.
Laird Ian MacNeill hates the thought of a movie production taking place around his family’s castle but his recent money troubles leaves him no choice. Ian is startled when he stumbles across a horrible wreck and two stranded women. The luscious Julia lights his fire like no other but he knows she’s keeping secrets.
Movie production begins and enemies from the past arrive to seize what they believe is theirs. Ian and Julia’s attraction to each other becomes undeniable but can they trust each other? Argent Castle is rife with enemies, ghosts and deadly secrets. Will they all survive the battle headed their way?
Heart of the Highland Wolf is a sweet, sizzling and utterly satisfying. The story starts off with a bang and the hits keep coming keeping the reader immersed in this highland novel. I loved learning the history behind Argent Castle and the families that have lived there. Julia and her many names are mysterious and keep everyone guessing. Ian comes off as a hard-edged no-nonsense werewolf but Julia pushes all of his buttons bringing him plenty of chaos. Ian and Julia spark when they are together. I loved watching them dance around their attraction for each other. There are plenty of suspenseful parts of this novel but it’s the couple that sets these pages on fire. I could read about them over and over again! Heart of the Highland Wolf is a hot highland hit filled with sexy werewolves and dastardly villains. This is the seventh book in Terry Spear’s Werewolf series but it can be read as a stand-alone novel.
If you are a regular reader of my blog you will notice that I don't read/review romance books and that is only because its a genre I never really got into until I read To Tempt The Wolf. I fell in love with the book and the author. Terry's books are the only romance books I will read and highly recommend.
Heart of the Highland Wolf did not disappoint. I devoured this book within two days and if I could I think I would have stayed up all night to read it. After reading this I had a sudden urge to want to visit Scotland.
What I love about this series is that you really don't need to read the previous books in order to follow along because each book deals with a different set of characters and yes some characters carry over into other books but its nothing major. Each book is fresh and exciting.
Julia the main character is a romance writer who writes about werewolves. She has developed writers block and thinks that hopping on a plane to Scotland with her friend Maria and the film crew will help her over come this. They are going to Scotland to film a historical movie at Agent Castle. Little does everyone else know but Julia is also going over for another reason. Its sort of like a secret family mission.
Although once they land in Scotland strange things begin to happen to Julia. A strange man at the airport who Julia feels is being a little to possessive in his manner and then a car accident. Are all these things linked or is it just a fluke? Is there more to this then Julia realizes?
In Julia's eyes she is hoping that Ian (Laird, Ian MacNeill) will become the hero in her book and little does Julia realize that during the course of time he will become that and then some for her in real life.
Ian has given up on ever finding his true love because in the past something has always happened and he was left behind to pick up the pieces but when he sees Julia he knows that she is the one. He knows there is more behind her then she is telling. What will he do when he uncovers the truth?
For me I loved Julia and Ian. There relationship started out light and flirty but quickly heated up. One thing I love about Terry's books is that she leaves alot to the imagination. There isn't alot of over the top sex scenes just enough to satisfy the reader.
I am really looking forward to discover more about the MacNeill brothers such as Duncan, Gutherie, and Cearnach in her upcoming highland books.
Summary: Ian MacNeill, hero, is an earl-slash, alpha pack leader-slash, laird; who will lose Argent Castle because of financial reasons if he doesn’t do something quick. The solution? Agree to let Sunset Productions film a Highland movie on his property (in the Highlands of Scotland).
The production crew has agreed to all of Ian’s countless stipulations; so why then, is the assistant to the assistant director trespassing and breaking and entering?
MacNeill isn’t obtuse; he’s cognizant of Julia’s lies. He knows she’s being untruthful about many things: her surname, her occupation, and her motives for creeping around his castle. Another laird would be furious with the lass. Punishing her even. But Ian has his own wolfish ideas to get the lass to behave.
Review: This novel has it all; the suspense, the romance, a malicious antagonist, and a castle with secret tunnels, trap doors and its very own…ghost. I can’t decide which appealed more, the suspense or the mystery. “Give me a minute to think about it.” Let’s go with…suspense. I remember gasping out loud on page 6 and that was just the beginning.
Favorite Character: Flynn, Argent Castle’s very own ghost. He always helps a lady in need! I’m not kidding, I wanted more Flynn! (I’m pouting like Tinker Bell and stomping my little foot.)
Favorite Scene(s): I loved the way Ian welcomes Julia to Scotland. (Welcome me, welcome me!)
Then there’s the hike, which ends at the falls, where Ian pleasures Julia with and without her clothes. Hot doesn’t even begin to describe it. The man has talent! He also whispers sweet nothings in Gaelic.
Cameos: I spied with my little eye a wolf biologist named Cassie, and my favorite pack leader, Leidolf. For new readers, or those reading the series out of order, you can read all about Cassie and Leidolf in Seduced by the Wolf (book 5).
Special Surprises Which Tickled Me Pink: I found two references (pages 165 and 345) regarding LRP’s Get into Bed interviews. (Cute.) (Funny.) Again…tickled pink.
Recommendations: Recommended first and foremost to mystery lovers, then to readers who love romantic suspense, and finally to paranormal romance readers.Terry Spear once again thrills fans with the latest addition to her award-winning Heart of the Wolf series. Heart of the Highland Wolf takes place in Scotland and has everything from werewolves to castles and film crews. Fans of Spear will fall in love with new Highland characters that will expand the series in a new direction. Spears attention to detail and superb research skills give this book an authentic feel. Readers will love the details of wolf pack dynamics and Scottish clan loyalties. A great new paranormal romance!
Highland laird, Ian MacNeil finds himself and his clan up to their ears in debt and taxes after a bad investment scheme has left them nearly bankrupt. The clans ancestral home in the Caledonian Forest, Argent Castle is the perfect place to hide the fact that the clan is actually a gray werewolf pack until a movie production company comes calling. Ian realizes that this may be his only chance to save his home by allowing them to film a movie in the castle, but he doesn't have to like it. Julia Wildthorn, American red werewolf and romance writer has journeyed to Scotland with her friend Maria, a part of the movie crew. She has two motives for coming along for the ride. With deadlines looming she needs new inspiration for her next werewolf romance novel and her grandfather has charged her with finding and returning a family relic that remains hidden in Argent Castle. But when she and Ian collide there worlds will never be the same. How are they tied together by the past? What's in the mysterious box?
Author Terry Spear once again gives readers what they want. Her highly successful Heart of the Wolf series has proven that shape-shifters are characters that readers want to read about, especially werewolves. Spear uses her in depth research into wolf and pack behavior to create an authentic feel to the book that readers will pick up on immediately. She understands the need for readers to believe that this sort of thing is possible and to be able to identify with the characters she has created. I really enjoy the way that Spear injects the pack mentality into everything her werewolf characters do. Another thing I find particularly interesting is the fact that Spear's werewolves can be born or made. She takes a werewolf myth and expands and changes it somewhat, and to me at least, makes it a lot more appealing than most werewolf novels.
In this addition to the series, Spear takes on the Highland clans. Being of Scottish descent myself, I was very happy to see the way this book was going. Apparently Spear has Highland ancestry as well and it comes across in her writing. I found her writing about the inner workings of a clan just as interesting as her writing about pack dynamics. The seemed to intertwine very well in her writing and she was able to give readers a sense of history and wistfulness. It was a very good marrying of two groups. The Laird of the clan being much like the Alpha male in a wolf pack. I always look to see how a writer interprets Highland customs and traditions and the overall attitude of the Scottish people and in my opinion Spear pulls it off with flying colors.
Ian and Julia make a very good couple. He is the strong lead character that is necessary with a werewolf novel. He is the epitome of heroes. Strong and courageous and not afraid to admit when he is wrong. She on the other hand is creative and determined and full of tenacity and grit. Quite a pair. The love scenes are steamy and frequent and readers who enjoy the romance of a book, will swoon a bit over this one. Spear has a real knack for writing steamy love scenes. It adds a lot of spice to the book and the chemistry between them just sizzles off the pages. Very hot!
The whole idea of family secrets and boxes from the past and finding relics is important to the story, but not essential in my opinion. It provided some interesting circumstances in which to find the main characters and gives Julia a one plausible excuse to stow away with the production crew, but I liked the romance writer angle a little better. I love it when a writer makes one of her or his characters a novelist as well. But, that's somewhat difficult to pull off. Readers who are familiar with Spear's other books in the series will remember Julia from previous books and it seems only natural that she gets her own story with this one.
Spear has written each book in the series to function on its own as a stand alone and that makes all the difference with a big series like this one. Readers can just pick up anywhere within the series and not be a big disadvantage, though I think they miss out on some of the nuances of the story if they haven't read them all.
I would recommend this one to paranormal romance fans, werewolf and wolf enthusiasts alike and to anyone who loves a good steamy romance. There is a lot to offer the reader in this book and in the entire series. It certainly not one you want to miss!
Heart of the Highland Wolf is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
This one definitely gets 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag! One of my favorite book series' that I've ever read.
OKAY, so I'm off to write on 3 stories--the jaguar one, The Deadly Fae, and The Gypsy and the Millionaire. I'm not sure on the title. Still thinking on it. :) And still working on the cover.
Now, also, I"m about ready to post the newsletter. I'm sharing The Devil's Messenger, a True Tale about my dad. He truly had nine lives.
Have a super great Saturday! I have my work cut out for me today!!!
So what am I doing goofing off again???
"Giving new meaning to the term alpha male."
Thanks so much to the Fierce Romance ladies for letting me crash their blog today. I totally dig these authors, so I’m thrilled to be here!
My Hollywood Confessions Blog Tour still has a few stops left, so please check out my website for links. I’ll be giving away more prizes at each stop! (Including gift cards, free books, cameo appearances, and Hollywood Headlines collectibles!)
Hollywood Confessions explores the sexy, scandalous, and sensational world of Hollywood through the eyes of tabloid reporter, Allie Quick. Allie has high aspirations - much higher than reporting on the latest celebrity gossip for the L.A. Informer, Hollywood's most notorious tabloid. But if she's going to join the ranks of the real reporters, she's going to need a headline worthy story under her belt. Luckily, she gets just that when the producer of the trashiest reality shows on TV winds up murdered, and Allie convinces her editor, Felix Dunn, that this story has her name written all over it. Between an aging dance-off judge, a family with sextuplets and triplets, and the star of a little person dating show, Allie has no shortage of reality stars to question. But when she finds herself falling for her prime suspect, Allie's relationship with her editor is suddenly on the rocks, and her life is in danger. This is one deadline Allie can't afford to miss!
One of my biggest challenges with this book was creating a likeable heroine in Allie. This is the 3rd book in my Hollywood Headlines series, each one focusing on a different fab female reporter at the L.A. Informer. In the first book HOLLYWOOD SCANDALS, Allie was a minor character, brand new at the paper, and not the heroine, Tina’s, favorite person. In fact, I think Tina refers to her as Annoying Barbie, Blondie, The New Chick, and a bunch of other words I can’t repeat in polite company. Basically, Tina thinks Allie only got her job because their editor is a sucker for blondes in short skirts and tight tops. And she’s not happy about it.
In book #2, HOLLYWOOD SECRETS, the heroine is Cameron Dakota, the paper’s photographer. And her opinion of Allie isn’t a whole lot better than Tina’s. Cam thinks Allie is a bit nosey, a bit sneaky, and will do just about anything to get a story. And she’s pretty sure that Allie is sleeping with the boss.
So, when I sat down to write book #3 I was both excited to finally let readers see things from Allie’s point of view, but also a little nervous. Even my own mother said, “You’re writing about Allie? Why? We hate her.”
But, personally, I felt sorry for Allie. See, while she dreams of joining the ranks of the Diane Sawyers of the world, Allie’s relegated to the TMZ beat, reporting on teen-ebrities’ latest designer Chihuahua purses. Not really fair, considering she graduated at the top of her class from UCLA’s journalism school. And while her lack of experience might be one factor in the journalism world not taking her seriously, the bigger factor lies in three little numbers – 36,26,36. A California blond bombshell, she has a hard time getting anyone to see past her looks – even though her I.Q. is an even more impressive number than her measurements. Somehow the old boys club of serious journalists isn’t clamoring to let her pink-wearing self into their ranks. And neither are the other girls. The truth is, Tina and Cam never really gave Allie a chance. As Allie puts it, “, it would have been nice to have someone show me the ropes—or at least where the ladies’ restroom was.”
But Allie’s a fighter. She is determined to make it in the journalism world, on her own if need be. She has nothing against the other girls at the paper, but if they want to play rough, she can wrestle a story down with the best of them – even in her hot heels and pink skirts. ;) (Oh, and as far as sleeping with the boss goes… well, let’s just say it’s complicated.)
While she was a bit of a challenge, I honestly think that Allie is one of my favorite heroines I’ve written so far. And I hope people enjoy her story as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Hollywood Confessions is available now in both print and ebook! And since this is the 3rd book in the Hollywood Headlines series, today I’m giving away an Amazon.com or BN.com gift card (winner’s choice) worth $15 so that one lucky winner can either download the first two books in the series (priced at $.99 and $3.99), or purchase the first book in print (priced at $12.99). All you have to do to enter is post a comment below about one of YOUR favorite heroines. I’ll pick a winner at the end of the day and post her/his name at the end of the comments!
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I suppose, given the week's theme, I should put something in here about conflict, shouldn't I?
Here's a key way to avoid marital conflict: Communication. For example, Hubby and I have clearly communicated that while we are out and about during our vacation, we can both look at the various gorgeous hunks and honeys, but NO touching. However, when we get back to the room, we can look AND touch. Hee hee hee.
Have a great Thursday and happy reading!